Saturday, May 20, 2006

Are you a cultural competent helping professional ?

Via Faceright, the Seattle School Board website in all its ghastly glory.

This may seem an extreme case, but the same principles are at work throughout the UK public sector, and have been ever since the principle of 'treat others as you'd like them to treat you' was abandoned as hopelessly ethnocentric, and replaced by 'to treat people the same you have to treat them differently'.

I was reading Susan's 'Nursing Times' the other day, and a midwife was describing how she was coping with the challenge of diversity. When introduced to a family she shook hands with the mother, but the father greeted her outstretched hand by putting his firmly behind his back and turning away.

Our heroine was quite miffed by this, but fortunately she discovered later that the clients came from a culture where a male could not touch a pregnant woman (our midwife was with child) to whom he was not related. So it was all right after all !

This would just about be justifiable if applied consistently. But imagine if the guy came from, say, a neo-nazi survivalist cult, and didn't want to shake hands because of her race ! No NHS treatment for you, scumbag !

Turns out in practice all cultures aren't equal. But the cultures you can discriminate against are limited to one ethnic group. Can't imagine why.

To quote this old post :

I was in a Government legal department a day or two ago. The walls and stairs were covered with anti-racist and 'diversity' posters, and as I awaited my appointment I could read the rules against discrimination of any kind on grounds of sex (sorry, gender), race, disability or sexual orientation.

During my interview I noticed a Bible on a shelf, used for swearing affidavits. 'Do you have a Koran ?' I asked. 'Oh yes', said the woman behind the desk, 'but women aren't allowed to touch that - I have to ask a man to get it.'


Ross said...

it may be worth pointing out that Seattle is the home of everyone's favourite progressive educationalist, Larry Chomstein of Blamebush fame.

"But imagine if the guy came from, say, a neo-nazi survivalist cult, and didn't want to shake hands because of her race ! No NHS treatment for you, scumbag !"

I had an elderly relative (now deceased) who was in hospital a while ago, her combination of deafness and somewhat non pc views on foreign nurses led to everyone who visited cringing as she loudly informed everyone about the shortcomings of asian medical staff.

DO said...

I have more on the Seattle controversy here. You may find it amusing...

Martin said...


Sounds like a case for the rubber gloves to me.

Anonymous said...

Did you see "This Week" on Thursday, Stephen Fry was on, he must be what you mean when you say self hating white liberal.

He described British people as filth, "we are filth".

Anonymous said...

Dave - I cant do anything with that BBC link, any ideas?

I looked up "This Week" on the BBC's A-Z listings, no joy.

The frightening thing is the half-wits who comple that list put items beginning "The" under T. So The Goodies are listed there rather than under G. Dumbing down - its already happened.

Anonymous said...

works for me.
The first one I gave was a little too long for this comments box.

DO said...

by the way, i notice that my old blog url (faute de mieux) is still in your sidebar. i've since moved here if you want to update: